Through volunteer grants, companies support the time their employees' spend supporting charity work.

Volunteer Grants – Nonprofit Catalog – NXUnite

If you have a devoted volunteer base but haven’t heard of volunteer grants, you’re missing out on easy revenue! Corporate volunteer grants are an excellent way to supercharge your volunteer relationships, kickstart new corporate partnerships, and enhance your fundraising strategy.

Tapping into this resource is pretty simple when you know the basics. To help you get started, we’ll cover the essential components of these programs and provide some practical tips along the way. In no time, you’ll cultivate a lucrative volunteer grant strategy that helps you pursue your mission.

What Are Volunteer Grants?

Corporate volunteer grant programs are a type of corporate philanthropy in which companies make monetary contributions to nonprofits where their employees regularly volunteer. Some businesses pay per volunteer hour while others require employees to serve a minimum number of hours with an organization. Then, after a volunteer submits a grant request, the company will send a check to the nonprofit.

So, let’s say a company offers $100 for every 25 hours an employee serves a nonprofit. Once a devoted supporter volunteers those 25 hours, they can submit a request to their employer who will then send the donation.

Corporations offer volunteer grants to provide nonprofits with funds based on how long employees volunteer.

Some companies also offer team volunteer grants as a way to encourage team-building and volunteerism in the communities where employees live and work. Crowd101’s corporate giving statistics page shows that 82% of companies report that their employees want to volunteer with their peers, making team volunteer grants a powerful engagement opportunity. When a business offers team grants, they often have additional requirements such as how many employees must volunteer together.

Benefits of Corporate Volunteer Grants

One of the best parts of volunteer grant programs is that they benefit nonprofits, companies, and volunteers alike. Whether you’re making the case to your board of directors to pursue this opportunity or convincing a local business to launch a program, here are some benefits you can share:

  • Nonprofits receive free funding and can drive higher volunteer retention rates by amplifying supporters’ impact. Research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) claims that individual donations make up roughly three-fourths of an organization’s total monetary contributions. CSR initiatives like volunteer grants can empower nonprofits to drive the remaining 25% of funding.
  • Companies can increase workplace satisfaction by supporting the causes employees care about. After all, 93% of employees believe companies must lead with a purpose. Another primary reason companies have giving programs is to improve their brands’ reputation and position them as a socially-responsible businesses.
  • Volunteers can monetarily support your nonprofit without spending their own money. Volunteer grants are a powerful way to drive greater impact on causes they care about.

No matter how you look at volunteer grants, they’re valuable to everyone involved. It’s up to your nonprofit to promote the opportunity to volunteers and start conversations with companies to advertise their programs to employees.

Common Guidelines for Volunteer Grant Programs

When laying out their volunteer grant programs, businesses typically set a few ground rules for participation. Your volunteer coordinator should be aware of the different types of requirements that companies commonly implement, such as:

  • Employee eligibility: This refers to an individual’s employment status at the company. For example, a company might offer volunteer grants for full-time, part-time, and retired employees.
  • Nonprofit restrictions: Some corporations will place restrictions on which types of nonprofits are eligible. In most cases, companies state that any 501(c)(3) nonprofit or educational institution is eligible.
  • Submission deadlines: Volunteers must typically submit a request by a certain date. Standard deadlines include the end of the calendar year or a set number of months after the individual volunteered.
  • Required hours: While most companies have a minimum hour requirement for eligibility, some pay by the hour.
  • Donation amount: This is the total grant amount that a company will donate to a nonprofit after the hours are completed. Guidelines may also include how many grants the company offers per employee each year.
  • Logging hours: Companies have different hour reporting requirements. They may require employees to fill out printed or electronic forms.

Corporate giving software can give you instant access to information on thousands of volunteer grant programs. You can embed a search tool where volunteers can research their companies, determine their eligibility, learn how to log their hours, and gain access to required forms.

How to Win A Volunteer Grant

With help from a corporate giving database, a volunteer can request a volunteer grant from their employer within minutes. Double the Donation’s corporate volunteer grant guide breaks it down into five easy steps. Here’s how it works:

The corporate volunteer grant process is simple.
  1. An individual volunteers with a nonprofit on a regular basis.
  2. The volunteer researches their eligibility for their employer’s program using a corporate giving database.
  3. If eligible, the volunteer fills out the required forms, either electronically or using a paper form.
  4. The company reviews the grant application and reaches out to the nonprofit to confirm the submitted information.
  5. If everything is in order, the company sends a check to the nonprofit.

It’s that simple! When it’s all said and done, make sure to reach out to thank your volunteers for all their hard work. Show that you appreciate them going above and beyond by submitting volunteer grant applications even after donating their time to your organization. By the end of it, you’ll drive greater volunteer satisfaction and inspire them to stick around for years to come.

Additional Resources

Nonprofit Catalog – Read up on more nonprofit essentials by exploring our Nonprofit Catalog.

The Ultimate Guide to Workplace Giving Platforms (+ Trends!) – Corporate giving goes beyond volunteer grant programs. Learn about other workplace giving initiatives and how software can make it easy to leverage these opportunities.

Nonprofit Fundraising Training: FAQs and 8 Top Resources – Is your team prepared to take advantage of fundraising opportunities like volunteer grants? Here are some training resources to help them develop their fundraising skills.